New England Patriots Links 4/06/10 - Patriots Changing the Defensive Scheme?

In 2000 Tom Brady was drafted in Round 6. Cleveland picked DE Courtney Brown (Penn State) with the number 1 pick overall, who was derailed by knee injuries after his rookie year. tsk. tsk.

Albert Breer examines how adding Damione Lewis could make the starters better.

But what might be more important here is creating a legitimate rotation up front. If you look at the playtime numbers from 2007 and 2008 (thanks, Pro Football Focus) versus those in 2009 for the New England defense, you see that a legitimate six-man rotation inside shrunk to five in '08 and four in '09. When the Patriots had a full complement of players, it was Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright and Green on the field (Derrick Burgess did see some action inside, but was mainly an edge player), and the group suffered when Warren and Wilfork were hurt.

Adding Lewis could help lighten the load on the other players and, in turn, make them more effective over the long haul. The further development of Myron Pryor and Ron Brace would also help.

Ian Rapoport wonders which team got more bang for their high-powered trade, the Patriots with Richard Seymour or the Eagles trading Donovan McNabb.

There are definitely some similarities between these two deals. In both instances, teams traded a franchise institution, a former high-round draft pick who represented the community and made several Pro Bowls. The Patriots won a few Super Bowl rings with Seymour, the Eagles went to the big game with McNabb.

And in both cases, the aging-yet-still-productive player was entering the last year of his contract seeking a big extension. Both teams receiving the players seem committed to big-money contract deals.

The only thing is that McNabb is a quarterback, the toughest hole to fill, while Seymour is a tough, gritty DE who can rush the passer… which is tough to find, but not as impossible.

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